SE: Packing for Phoenix

Dec. 26, 2012

This story appeared as Wednesday's edition of K-State Sports Extra.

By Mark Janssen

Packing for a week-long trip is a task for anyone, but for Al Cerbe … whew!!!!

Cerbe is Kansas State’s equipment manager for Kansas State’s 118-member football team, not to mention the staff of assistants, not to mention the support staff, not to mention the medical team that he has been packing in advance for the Fiesta Bowl trip.

“We’ll have two 18-wheelers packed with all of our gear, plus probably close to 800 pieces of luggage for the nearly 400 people who will be part of our travel party,” said Cerbe.

The 18-wheeler packed with personal luggage left Manhattan on Christmas Day, while the rig packed with 30,000 pounds of football equipment is also rolling toward the dessert as we speak.

The trucks are being driven by the captain of the crew, John Brown, plus his son-in-law Todd Carlson, who will direct their $200,000-plus 70-foot rigs toward Phoenix.

Packed for the 118 Wildcat players will be practice gear, a helmet for practice and one for the game, three pair of shoes – a game shoe with molded cleats, a practice shoe with molded cleats, and a seven-studded shoe. Also packed will be the game uniform, which will include K-State’s purple jerseys as the Wildcats will be the home team.

“We’ll also take some blocking sleds, a copy machine and a few exercise bikes,” said Cerbe. “In the past we’ve also taken a small weight room, but we’re practicing at Scottsdale Community College and they have a pretty nice facility.”

K-State will practice on, and the game will be played on, natural grass that Cerbe said will be cut at six-tenths of an inch.

“It will be a great playing surface that the guys will like because it has a little give to it, and it will be a fast playing surface,” said Cerbe, adding that the majority of the players would use molded cleats for the game. “The field is on a track so it can be rolled outside to a parking lot so it can get the proper sunlight, and then rolled back into the stadium as one piece. It’s a pretty neat deal.”

K-State has played three games on natural surfaces this year at Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU. For the most part, the team wore molded cleats at OU and TCU, but most wore the seven-studded cleats at Iowa State because it rained in the morning.

Oh … back to those 18-wheelers. Each rig has a pair of 150-gallon tanks with the cost to fill both up at the same time being nearly $2,000. Hope they remember their Dillon’s discount gas card!

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